Today we are so thrilled to share an interview today with one of the most exciting players in world Table Tennis, 20-year-old Cristian Pletea.
A 2-time Europe Top 10 Junior Champion, the young Romanian is one of the true entertainers in our great sport and recently broke into the world’s top 60. He can surely look forward to a bright future ahead.
Cristian recently lost out in the Romanian National Senior Championships final 4/2-to-7-time Champion Ovidiu Ionescu and will have ambitions of becoming his home country champion next year.
You have an incredibly exciting game style, can you give some insight into how your game developed this way?
Somehow I feel more comfortable when I am behind and I have this instinct to be able to put the ball on the Table from anywhere! I also know I am quick, athletic and have great mobility which gives me the opportunity to do more things! I guess my game has just grown this way!
Can you discuss the improvements you have made in order to make a successful transition from Junior to Senior Table Tennis?
I guess I have become more aggressive and am better mentally than I was as a Junior (in Seniors the mental side is almost everything!). I also work harder and with the right people.
Can you give some tips regarding how a young player can get the best out of a training session?
First of all, coaches should immediately stop young players when they look bored or start to lose focus during practice. Quality is the most important thing and of course to have the correct movements.
Many young players feel pressure when they play matches, what tips can you give regarding improving the mental side of the game?
There is always pressure, however, the most important thing is for a young player to replicate practice into matches and to always play CORRECT!! Never change movements or tactics in a match in order to simply win that match! The future is more important! Any good coach will know these things.
If you could choose one player to watch, who would it be and why?
Zhang Jike, because of his footwork, motivation and that he always had those ‘flames in his eyes’ no matter whether it was during practice or playing matches. Also because of his first two, first balls.
Finally, can you describe yourself in 3 words?
Dreamer, Ambitious, Casillas (legendary Real Madrid Goalkeeper and widely regarded as the best of all time)
Please check out some of his amazing rallies and matches on YouTube and we would like to thank Cristian for taking the time to do the interview with us.